Articles - April, 2011

Green Projects to Save Money [Survey]

American Express sampled 2,045 people (18+ years old) and learned that 64% of them will invest in renovation projects this year, according to a survey taken in the first week of March.  These homeowners are only planning on spending about $3,400 — down from $6,200 last year — but 32% of folks with home improvement plans will look into green home improvements.

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Shotgun Style Home is a Power Producer

This ultra-efficient home is repaying owner Scott Shackleton with money from putting excess electricity into the grid.  Located on a narrow lot in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, the shotgun-style home generates nearly two-times the electricity it uses with a 4.7 kW solar array on the roof.  That plus about 85% of domestic water is pre-heated with solar thermal, resulting in more energy savings.

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Hybrid Light Bulb Arrives on Earth Day

Some folks just don’t want to give up incandescent light bulbs, so GE developed a “customer-inspired” bulb to ease the transition.  The GE Energy Smart hybrid halogen/CFL bulb is being shipped nationally with soft white and Reveal options.  The new bulb — a blend of three light bulb technologies — has the shape of an incandescent, the efficiency of a CFL, and the immediacy of a halogen.

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HGTV Green Home Earns LEED Platinum

This year’s HGTV Green Home is in the popular Stapleton infill development of Denver, Colorado.  The New Urbanist community features nothing but Energy Star homes that are about 30% more energy efficient than standard homes and 20% more water efficient than typical Denver households.  But the HGTV Green Home 2011 steps things up a notch with a LEED Platinum certified project — it’s one of about 40 in the state.

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Five Green Design Blogs to Bookmark

Ecosistema Urbano, an agency that runs a website on the topic of “creative urban sustainability,” recently listed the top environmentally-responsible design blogs with this site included. EU also published the Prezi above saying Jetson Green is a “blogger and tweeter extraordinaire … [that] brings followers the latest strategies for building sustainable homes with natural materials and green technologies.” Here are the other four:

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Urbio Vertical Garden for Urban Dwellers

Urbio is a fascinating vertical garden system that’s minimalist, expandable, and affordable.  It was designed by Volare Studio and Enlisted Design, who posted the system on Kickstarter to raise funds to bring the product to market.  Urbio includes wall plates, wall mount pucks, and various pot sizes.  It’s the perfect kind of system to liven up a wall while growing herbs, succulents, and other small plants.

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